Thursday, October 6, 2011

Occupy Wall Street starts small in San Francisco

I was coming home from the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival last weekend when my attention was grabbed by this small band of protestors walking down Market Street and shouting "Occupy Wall Street."

"Occupy Wall Street" protestors in San Francisco.

I learned later that "Occupy Wall Street" is a national grassroots movement that was kickstarted by this tumblr post We are the 99 Percent where people tell their stories of economic hardship.

The "99 percent" is a reference to a statistic that says that 1% of the country owns 40% of the wealth. The Occupy Wall Street group objects to that, and to unchecked corporate influence on our government which continues to tip the scales towards the super rich by passing laws to: bail out banks with taxpayer money, allow credit card companies to charge exorbitant rates, deny bankruptcy relief on student loans, etc. etc.

The San Francisco group grew to as many as 800 by Wednesday, according to this article in the SF Chronicle. But Thursday morning, officers dismantled a makeshift camp of 200 outside the Federal Reserve Bank on Market Street.

I'm not sure what the group is asking for, specifically, but I went to these sites to learn more. Here's the official Occupy Wall Street site, with pictures of a big protest in Liberty Square in NYC.

Here's the official Occupy SF site.

Here's a Facebook link which purports to list the group's "Declaration of Occupation of New York City."

Here's a column about the movement by the New York Times' Paul Krugman, a HuffPo analysis of the group by John Wellington Ennis, and a Mother Jones story by Andy Kroll about the big unions joining in.

Interesting things are happening in our country.

I thought this poster said it all:

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